VIDEO: Property owners in Dubuque can get some financial help upgrading aging fire escapes. The city council approved that funding Monday night. A state law passed in 2015 requires an engineer to inspect all fire escapes at least once every five years. In Dubuque, there are about 60 buildings with fire escapes, and many of them are as old as the building itself. A third party engineering inspector will check each fire escape for rust and to make sure they are properly anchored to the building.